“There was intent there,” Stefan said. “Knowing that, with them watching, if he stays aggressive, he can absolutely influence what they’re doing on hole 17. He had to go for the kill shot.”
When the roars from No. 18 had subsided, Muñoz and Streb both missed birdie putts. Neither scored in the red on the final hole, either.
In just his 23rd start on tour, Schauffele won his first tournament and $1.278 million, a sum greater than his entire professional earnings to that point.
Stefan, who watched it on TV with his wife and older son at home in San Diego, glued to the couch on the back nine, breathed in the moment. “It was much more emotional than I had envisioned,” he said.
Two hours later, Xander turned on his cellphone and talked on FaceTime with his family. Everyone was in tears, he said.
The win moved Xander into the Top 100 in the world golf ranking for the first time in his career, an achievement that, Stefan said, “was a master plan at work.”
Stefan was born to a family of athletes, and he continued the legacy, hoping to make the German Olympic team in the decathlon. That dream ended when he was involved in a car crash with a drunken driver at age…